If you fail at keeping workers informed, the workplace atmosphere can regularly overflow with confusion, agitation, stress, and anxiety with employees uncertain or uninformed about what is happening with the company.
According to a report by The Alternative Board, “When workers don’t have access to people and resources, they can’t effectively perform their jobs. This can lower morale and the motivation to perform well, leading to a less productive workforce. It also can impact on-time delivery of projects, which can tarnish a business’s reputation.”
Part of the task of being an effective leader is motivating your employees by always keeping them abreast of every work-related situation. This article will tell you what tools are out there to keep your workers informed.
Despite the proliferation of communication tools, sometimes you just need to meet with your team or department face to face, in a group. It helps to build strong relationships, establishes alignment and will foster better and faster decision making.
In-person meetings will naturally build teamwork with personal interaction. When there’s a free-flowing exchange of ideas and you can see and hear your teammates’ thoughts personally, you get to establish a deeper bond with your team. A strong team dynamic is vital to work success and productivity, and so nothing beats a physical team meeting to create and maintain a good working relationship.
They allow the team to talk through complex issues and their ideas and solutions, which is much faster and more effective than discussing it over email or over temperamental virtual formats. If you’re a team manager, you can make better decisions when you have the information on key matters that affect your team. Your team will be able to tell you their specialist information in the meeting, and therefore you’ll be able to make effective decisions more quickly.
Virtual meetings and video conferencing do however offer a range of benefits. Two that are not emphasised enough are the fact that virtual meetings create a more inclusive workplace for those who are unable to travel, as well as promoting a more sustainable, environmentally friendly workplace.
Virtual meetings are more accessible for everyone who needs to be there – whether they join from home or another country. This increases participation for those who may experience travel restrictions due to things like ill health, childcare, financial restraints, or impaired mobility. And for companies with a globalised workforce, a good virtual meeting policy creates alignment in communication and facilitates integration between teams.
Travelling to work will leave a carbon footprint, and so opting to hold a virtual meeting instead of travelling is a proactive way to decrease the impact your company has on the environment and a significant way to make business practises more sustainable overall.
In an interview with CIO, Chris Battles, vice president and general manager of Citrix, said “Having regular meetings with remote team members is almost more important than making sure to carve out time with those who are in-house.”
With the simple setup of dedicated instant messaging groups, it has never been easier to keep a team on track. Though by no means a replacement for regular meetings, instant messaging allows progress to be tracked and new information to be shared in a much more manageable way.
Simple prompts, ongoing group Q&A and quick and easy progress checks allow managers to track work and staff to understand exactly what’s happening on any given task.
With the bonus of allowing ongoing, real-time communication, instant messaging is the ultimate communication system for supplementing team meetings. While nobody would suggest that a business could afford to drop one or the other entirely, it is widely acknowledged that a good mix of both communications methods is highly effective.
It shouldn’t need to be mentioned, but email is and will remain the standard communication practice between you and your workers. It is fast, cheap, accessible and easily replicated. Using email can greatly benefit businesses as it provides efficient and effective ways to transmit all kinds of electronic data.
Email is cheap, and sending an email and It is fast – an email newsletter will reach your workers in minutes. Not only that, it is also convenient and permanent – your message will not disappear, you can send as many emails to as many people as you want, and you can keep a record of messages and replies, including knowing when information was received by your workforce.
One of the main advantages of email is that you can quickly and easily send electronic files such as text documents, photos and data sheets to several contacts simultaneously by attaching the file to an email. Check with your internet service provider if there is a limit to the size of email attachment you can send. Some businesses may also limit the type and size of attachments that they are willing to receive.
You can gain further advantages in keeping your workers informed by setting up your email software to automatically create entries in your address book for every message you send or receive, respond to incoming emails automatically, for instance to confirm receipt of an order, or to let your workforce know that you are on leave or out of the office.
Again talking to CIO, Nigel Johnson, vice president of Zix, says that email is “a convenient, established way to send information to a large group of people. Since roughly one in every three people worldwide has an email account, employers can rally behind email-driven communications with the peace of mind that almost everyone in business is familiar with the platform”
A company intranet can be vital for communicating to your workers and keeping them informed. Having a wealth of communication tools at their fingertips enables your employees to communicate how they want. Email, voice, video, instant messaging and social means users can get the information they need from colleagues faster than ever before.
A high-quality intranet will mean that the effective communication between your employees can be taken to another level – teams can work on the same document simultaneously, or have a look at changes that have been made before them. Furthermore, an intranet will make it much easier for workers to find each other – therefore keeping the right people informed quickly and effectively – as intranets contain interactive directories that are searchable on a number of criteria (name, title, department, specialism). As with people directories, intranets can make it easier to find any document on a system, through in-depth, yet easy-to-use search functions.
Providing employees with a personalised experience of your company intranet, such as opening their home page with relevant news, updates, apps and documents, while enabling them to generate their own content, is a key driver of engagement.
On a more personal note than the above tech-focused solutions for keeping your workers informed, it is important to have a set of goals that your company stands for, and instilling them in the minds of your employees will keep them focused on the ultimate objective of the company.
Keeping workers informed will help your workers understand what your organisation stands for, what it wants to achieve and what it requires from them – they will be more engaged with being informed about the company as a result. Work with your employees to build personal goals for them that fall in line with those of your company – this will ensure they stay informed in the workplace and focused on their tasks.
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